For anyone who has traveled to Macau, you will immediately notice all the massively-sized casinos offering gambling facilities to citizens from the region where gambling is not legally permitted. However, apart from physical casinos and their immense popularity in Asia, online gambling is becoming a massive form of entertainment with a really high value.
It may be said that Europe leads the way with iGaming services and offerings but Asia is not far behind in terms of interest and demand. In this article, we explore the state of the iGaming industry in Asia and some of the ways in which challenges with translation and localization can be overcome. Let’s take a closer look.
The state of the industry: New realms of success
According to Statista, the casino games market in Asia was valued at around $1.61 billion last year alone with a high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.23%. This means that the projected market volume is expected to reach $2.48 billion by 2027.
It’s not just online gambling games that are contributing to this success though. In fact, there is in-app purchase revenue, which was expected to reach $966.90 million last year. Furthermore, there is paid app revenue in the same market with an anticipated value of $27.98 million.
And of course, we can’t leave out advertising revenue, which was projected to reach $614.60 million in 2022. With approximately 0.72 billion downloads in 2022 alone in Asia, we are looking at an exceptionally robust market with rising demand and the need for European or Western gaming providers to tailor their offering effectively in order to reach this market and reap the rewards.
Challenges in iGaming localization
Despite the massive size of the market, the anticipated financial growth, and the potential for profitability for external players to enter the Asian iGaming market, there are several important considerations that must be taken into account when preparing to enter a new market such as Asia. Of course, it goes without saying that there is great linguistic and cultural diversity that a translation and localization partner will need to be aware of and interpret accurately. However, there are numerous other challenges to be considered as well. Here is a list of just a few of them:
- Taking cultural diversity into account: although the rules for many of the games in online gambling may be similar the world over, such as poker or slot games, it’s essential for a European iGaming provider to consider cultural diversity and nuances before entering the market. Things such as colors can have ominous or lucky meanings. There are also local superstitions, special holidays, traditional beliefs, etc., which affect when, where, and how a game is played. This is where a professional translation and localization partner can bridge the gap between cultures and ensure cultural sensitivity and market success while building player trust.
- Enhancing the User Experience (UX): UX is often thought to be related to only how a user or a player interacts with the site or app in terms of functional buttons, sufficient informational content, and easy-to-navigate layout. However, UX in iGaming goes further than this, and European iGaming companies also need to consider their customer support. This should be available on as many platforms as possible, including telephone, email, live chat, etc. In addition, support should be available in the player’s language so that player trust is increased and the particular iGaming company is able to satisfy their customers’ needs.
- Navigating regulatory challenges: every iGaming industry in different corners of the world has specific regulatory requirements that it needs to comply with. From privacy policies to safe online gambling, European iGaming companies must comply with local laws as well as promote trust by their players for greater safety and compliance. Of course, this requires accurate and timely translations and localization efforts, which need to be country-specific and updated as and when regulation changes take place.
- SEO-optimized translations: European iGaming companies must also take search engine optimization (SEO) into account when entering Asian markets. With this, it’s critical to carefully study search queries, different search engines, as well as aligning keywords and meta tag descriptions to align with specific Asian players’ preference and search engine trends. This will not only be beneficial for players but the higher search engine rankings will be good for the organization in question, too.
- Multi-device solutions: when it comes to online gambling in Asia, research shows that Asian players prefer to use their desktop computers for such games. However, with the proliferation of smartphones, they are increasingly being used as betting devices. This means European or Western iGaming companies must tailor their content so that mobile versions are easy to access and use. Using streamlined infrastructure to cater to a diverse set of technological needs will place these online gambling companies in a better position.
- Flexibility in modes of payment: perhaps the most crucial means of earning revenue for European online gambling companies is the in-app purchases, advertising, and access provided to players to enjoy their games. However, Western payment solutions are often foreign to the Asian market, and popular local solutions must be south after as alternatives. This includes offering a variety of payment alternatives such as e-wallets, credit and debit cards, mobile payments, QR payments, wire transfers, etc. And in addition to this, localization with these payment options will be extremely necessary so as not to alienate or frustrate players or to make them feel distrustful of the brand they are interacting with.
While online gambling is taking Europe by storm, Asia is by no means far behind. The European iGaming market is thriving and it is rapidly expanding into Asian nations to bring players variety, fun, and entertainment. However, when entering Asian markets, European iGaming companies need to ensure that they cater to local customs and linguistic preferences through accurate and nuanced translation and localization. Without these efforts, such market entry could fail before it even gets off the ground.